Attorney Position - Direct Representation and Jail Visit Services
- Job posted by Capital Area Immigrants' Rights Coalition
1612 K Street NW
District of Columbia
The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition is the only non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. area with legal services programs focused exclusively on assisting immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Virginia and Maryland, and unaccompanied immigrant children held in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement in Virginia. We are seeking a attorney to join our Detained Adult Program and assist our team provide quality legal services to adults detained in the DMV. We seek a committed advocate who will enhance our team’s ability to provide empathetic legal services to detained immigrants hailing from a wide variety of countries and who speak many different languages. Responsibilities will include providing know your rights and intake services to adults detained in custody as well as providing direct representation.
Description of Position
CAIR Coalition is hiring an Attorney to represent and safeguard the rights of detained immigrants found mentally incompetent by an Immigration Judge. Through the National Qualified Representative Program (NQRP), CAIR Coalition has been appointed counsel for detained immigrants determined to be legally incompetent in immigration court. Incompetency is a legal standard that an Immigration Judge determines after reviewing indicia that an immigrant has mental health disability that affects her ability to represent herself without counsel in court.
Once appointed, the attorney would represent clients on a range of defenses from asylum, cancellation of removal, voluntary departure, and even deportation. An attorney in this position provides direct representation to detained adult men and women with mental health conditions and/or intellectual disabilities in immigration removal proceedings.
Jail Visit Services
The attorney will also lead Legal Orientation Program (LOP) visits to detention centers in the DMV.
· Representation in removal proceedings before the Arlington or Baltimore Immigration Courts on requests for custody redetermination (bond) and/or individual merits hearings;
· Representation may also include appellate proceedings before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and case-related work involving the services described above before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS);
· Representation may also include pursuing post-conviction relief directly related to the above services;
· Advocacy and assistance with other holistic services reasonably necessary to prepare a “post-release plan” for release from Department of Homeland Security (DHS) custody (ex., efforts to connect the respondent to community-based mental health care, housing, or other community resources once out of DHS custody);
· Comply with data and program reporting requirements to keep track of case progress;
· Mentoring pro bono cases;
· Conducts Know Your Rights Presentations and Intakes in Spanish and English
· Conducts workshops for pro se applicants on different forms of relief from removal such as asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture, bond/voluntary departure and cancellation of removal;
· Oversees legal assistants, interns, and volunteers while on jail visits to ensure all jail visit components and goals are met;
· Participates in monthly LOP conference calls and bi-annual stakeholder meetings with ICE and detention facility personnel to address issues regarding legal access to and representation of detained adults.
· Assists legal staff to ensure follow-up messages and case updates are completed for all detained immigrants prior to each jail visit including those we are assisting pro se;
· Use shared databases effectively and communicate with team in a fast-paced environment.
· Important: Currently, each staff attorney leads two to three jail visits a month at facilities located between 1 hour to 3 hours outside of Washington D.C. At least once a month, the staff attorney stays overnight at one of our larger facilities.
1) Juris Doctorate degree required;
2) A valid driver’s license;
3) Proficiency in Spanish is preferred, but applications for non-Spanish speakers will be considered;
4) Experience working with detained immigrants or other incarcerated populations;
5) Experience and/or interest working with individuals with mental disabilities preferred, our organization will also provide training on working with this population;
6) Strong litigation experience and/or oral advocacy skills;
7) Strong legal research and writing skills;
8) Demonstrated ability and/or willingness to zealously pursue new and untested legal theories; and
9) Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work under pressure.
Generous compensation and benefits package.
Level of Language Proficiency
Proficiency in Spanish is preferred, but applications for non-Spanish speakers will be considered
Minimum Education Required